Optimizing strategic behaviour in a dynamic setting in professional team sports
This article develops a dynamic game-theoretic model of optimizing strategic behaviour by football (soccer) teams. Teams choose between defensive and attacking formations and between a non-violent and a violent playing style, and can vary these choices continuously throughout each match. Starting from the end of the match and working backwards, the teams' optimal strategies conditional on the current state of the match are determined by solving a series of two-player non-cooperative subgames. Numerical simulations are used to explore the sensitivity of strategic behaviour to variations in the structural parameters. The analysis demonstrates that the strategic behaviour of football teams can be rationalized in accordance with game-theoretic principles of optimizing strategic behaviour by agents when payoffs are uncertain and interdependent.
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